Sony MDR-XB80BS Review of In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones reveals punchy bass

By Jordan Milham - Dec 20, 2016

These Sony MDR-XB08BS headphones are designed to get you through your day within a beat. With the claims of punchy bass and a quality sounding headset, we give you an insight on what this product can really produce after some hands-on time.

As you can see from the picture below, these in-ear headphones are packed in a way that allows you to see exactly what’s being purchased without opening the box. This is a great idea because unlike some other headphone companies, leaving the finer details hidden inside, you’ll know exactly what you’ve purchased.

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While we didn’t necessarily need the help of instructions with this model of Sony Bluetooth headphones, it will be welcomed by some to find instruction pictures on the back of the box that help with getting everything up and running in no time. When ordering you’ll have the choice of Red, Blue, and Black with the latter colour being the product we reviewed.

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The Unboxing – Once you have unpacked your headphones you will notice that a white box is placed neatly behind the headset, after opening this box you’ll find everything needed to operate the MDR-XB80BS headphones. Sony’s packaging is almost always to a high standard, as we found during our review of this product and this isn’t always the case with other brands.

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Once we took everything out of the packaging we were surprised on how much you get for your money. The items include a USB charging cable, different size earbuds designed for your personal comfort, a stylish grey metallic case, a starter guide to ensure you know how to operate this product and a reference guide in multiple languages.

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First Look – The Sony MDR-XB80BS In-Ear headphones are created to be wireless with a click of a button. The design has been kept very simple but with a few stand out features, which would work well for athletes and those who workout and love a good run.

You’ll either love or hate the snake skin look that makes the headphones stand out from the crowd. Featuring very minimal wire, they are easy to get along with and this means you won’t have dangling wire getting in the way like with the models we’ve reviewed.

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If we were to flip either earpiece over and look from the other side, you’ll notice a clean look with R and L on either side making sure you put them on correctly and the model number is seen on the top left side on the headphones.

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Power Button and Volume – Everything you need to operate the headphones is located on the right earphone placed at the back. Sony have kept to very minimum of 3 buttons; The ON button and 2 other buttons for adjusting the volume of your music.

However, these buttons do more than one thing. For instance the ON button is used for pausing and playing your music AND pairing you devices, whether it be a laptop, desktop or phone connecting to these headphones. The other buttons are simply created to adjust your volume, or forwarding and rewinding your music.

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There is a disadvantaged to the above features, especially when you’ve placed the headphones on your head and try to turn your music up or down. During our review, we noticed that when you need to turn the volume up/down you will start to find your right earphone slipping forward, almost falling out of your ear, meaning you then need to take the earphone out and replace it back into the position you once had it in.

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USB Connection – We noticed during the review that at the very bottom of these headphones on the right hand side is a USB slot, this is used for when your headphones need to be charged. You’ll be impressed with how quick they charge from flat, meaning you can quickly charge them when in hurry, especially if you’ve forgotten to charge the night before.

They come with a USB cable as shown at the top of our review. This allows you to charge your headphones via a computer or in a car, if you are lucky enough to do so. However, there is one slight problem for people who don’t have access to a computer, this USB cable doesn’t come with a wall adapter, for some people this can cause a problem. Once they have finished charging you simply clip the cover of the USB port back on, and the headset is ready to use again.

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As you can see the charging cable is plugged into both the laptop and the headset. This is a really good idea and easy to do, however we found the computer had to be on at all times and if it went into standby mode the headset would stop charging.

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When we put these headphones on we found them extremely comfortable and light weight. As we already mentioned, the Sony MDR-XB80BS have a short wire and this really made listening that much easier. The sound quality was really good, as we’d expect from a brand like Sony, in fact we were left a little speechless at times and enjoyed the experience during our daily run.

Once back indoors, we wanted to test the range of the device and continued to be impressed when walking around our home away from the audio source being streamed. Where we’ve had distortion in the past with Bluetooth headsets, this wasn’t the case with the Sony MDR-XB80BS in-ear headphones, although every device has its range and they did distort at a point.

We managed to get around 7 hours of normal audio listening before needing a change. This length of use seems fair and keeps the products features well balanced all round, especially when you take into account other specs like the water resistance making them even better for our daily runs when it could also be raining.

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While we’ve talked about the music abilities of the MDR-XB80BS, it’s good to remember you can make wireless phone calls too! We enjoyed a few moments of complete freedom while in phone calls with crystal clear sound and voice when in the some room of our smartphone, which allowed us to carry on with what were doing while talking to friends and family.

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Protection Of Your Headset – These headphones come with a case to keep them from any scrapes and scratches. With a stylish metallic grey look, this case also comes with a magnetic close making sure your headphones are kept secure at all times. The case is extremely light weight and doesn’t take up much room, so is easy for you to quickly place in your pocket or luggage.

Main Features:

  • High quality music transmission via Bluetooth using Sony proprietary technology (LDAC)
  • Hands-free microphone and remote
  • 7 hours battery life
  • Stable fit and freedom without tangled cables: Secure-fit with ear hook style
  • Improve your sports performance while listening to your favourite punchy deep bass tunes

Final Thought – We really enjoyed reviewing the Sony MDR-XB80BS In-Ear Headphones and while we have been hands-on with a number of headsets, this Bluetooth option is certainly near or at the top of our list.

They are comfortable at all times and the sound quality blows your mind, meanwhile the 7 hours battery life allows you to enjoy hours of your favourite albums and tracks. The charging time is up to 2 hours, so make sure you charge them when not in use. The only downside we can really see is the price, at just under £120 on Amazon (at the time of posting) we still think it’s a good buy, but budget buyers might think differently.

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  • Justin Dela Torre

    Great review! Way to add the pictures at all angles of the product